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Found 4 results

  1. Interesting Bug # 1

    Let's go on what may turn out to be an extended journey. It is my intention to try to take pictures ever few hours along the way while prepping this little guy. In a few minutes I will post a picture of an unprepared trilobite exactly as found with no preparation whatsoever. What is a bit exciting about this one is that it is actually my bug and eventually when finished I will actually get to keep it for my own collection. Unfortunately for me, most of the really nice bugs and crinoids I prep end up not being mine, but at least I get the chance to experience them and see them come alive in person. I actually have 4 bugs and a nice plate sitting beside me right now that are not mine and waiting for a couple more to be done before packaging off to the owner. To set the scene a piece of matrix a little larger than my fist was split very cleanly into two pieces. The trilobite was cleanly dissected into two pieces across the split as are many trilobites when they are found. I am very hopeful from what I can see that the trilobite will be essentially complete; but that is really only known by the fossil faerie's at this time. You know those little gnomes that during the night hide the fossils for us to find, But they often try to trick us with those pesky partials. To help you out a little bit I have placed the picture with the trilobite roughly in the correct orientation. Eventually the two halves will be reunited by using a super thin cyanoacrylate that is made for Radio Controlled airplanes. So to answer a prep question that is often asked , Do you glue first then prep or prep then glue. The answer is it depends on the type of split you have, the amount of matrix to be removed and the quality of preservation of the fossil. In about 80% of the fossils I will do some prep first , then glue. I specifically want to see that I do in fact have the correct orientation for the fossil. I am also at this point trying to determine how complete the bug is. You do not want to spend 100 hours on a bug only to discover it is a partial. I once prepped 3 Oklahoma dicranurus for someone and sadly they all turned out to be partials. For example once you determine where the cephalon or pygidium is, go to where you think the opposite end of the big should be and see if it is there. If you are dealing with a spiny bug like a dicranurus look to see if the free cheeks are there and check that the long pygidial spines are there. If they are not you may be better off investing the 100 plus hours it might take in a better specimen. You will often find partially prepped dicranurus for sale that have been abandoned at the point the preparator discovered that something that should be there is missing. It takes almost as long to prep a dike missing say 1 free cheek as a perfect one, but the price difference between the two bugs when finished could easily be double. It is very important that you know the anatomy of the bug you are prepping. If I am working on a less common bug I will always have a picture of that bug at my prep station . However, reality is that I end up prepping the same 5 types most of the time (eldredgeops, greenops, ceraurus, isotelus, flexicalymene) as this is generally what I and my clients actually find. If it is a spiny bug you must know where the spines are likely to be on your matrix or you will without any doubt destroy them. If the bug is say a phacopid then you are off to clear sailing and can use very different methods to get down to the bug. I for instance on a non spiny trilobite will often use a Dremel with a diamond wheel to quickly remove a lot of the overlying matrix. I would never do this on a spiny trilobite. So without further rambling delay here is the mystery bug prior to any preparation. I am not at this point going to even tell you what the bug is, but if you would like to hazard a guess then send me a PM and I will let you know if you are correct Now here is the same side of the bug after about 15 minutes of preparation. At this point I have not discovered anything that would lead me to believe that the bug will not be complete. Note that you can see black sharpie lines on the left. I always put sharpie lines across the split to make it easy to line them back up when time to reassembly. You cannot see it here but all sides have them If you have anything interesting that you would like to consider having prepped you can always send me a PM and we can discuss. My next plan of attack is to spend about 15 minutes on the opposite side of the split. Following that I will come back to this side and use a Pferd MST31 air scribe with the fine stylus to remove some of the matrix well away from the actual fossil. Note that at this point I already know where the head and tail should be on the fossil and the correct orientation that I am going to prep from.
  2. I am looking for a Comco or similar air abrasive unit, have fossils available to trade, or part trade/part cash. Something like these.
  3. I bought a non-working Comco MB-101 air abrasion unit. I've got everything working but have a question about the foot pedal or the lack of one. The unit did not have a power cord or foot pedal when I bought it. I contacted Comco they no longer have a parts list or manual. I would like to know the manufacture name and model of the foot pedal if anyone has one to reduce my chances of picking the wrong one. I'm currently using a toggle switch. Thanks, Hoffy
  4. I just bought a used Comco mb 1000 micro abraider. It came with a rectangular nozzle. Can anyone tell me what size round nozzle I should get for fossil prep? Is there any advantage to the longer nozzle?
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